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Tokusatsu Film School photo
Tokusatsu Film School

Tokusatsu Film School hits us with some useful tips

Teamwork is important
Oct 21
// Salvador G Rodiles
It's time to hit the book again, people. Garage Hero's Tokusatsu Film School series is back with a new episode that focuses on giving us some advice on the filming scene. Of course, it talks about the importance of keeping tr...
Gun Caliber photo
Gun Caliber

Aw, yeah: Gun Caliber's first episode is now locked and loaded

Let's start off our week with a bang
Oct 10
// Salvador G Rodiles
Alright, people. It's time to shoot evil where it hurts because the first episode of the Gun Caliber web series is now on Garage Hero's YouTube channel. Of course, this is the original movie split up into various parts. ...
Garo photo

Licensing GET: Kraken Releasing nabs the original Garo series

The golden light shines strong
Oct 10
// Salvador G Rodiles
Ladies and gentlemen: It appears that hell's temperatures have reached a subzero level since another miracle has happened. During Atlanta's Monsterama Convention that happened last weekend, Section 23's division known as Krak...
Nevalion photo

Kick off your weekend with Garage Hero's Nevalion short

Now that's what I call a punch
Oct 07
// Salvador G Rodiles
If there's a side of tokusatsu that's piqued my curiosity the most, it's the local hero side of things. These characters are exclusive to specific regions of Japan so their presence is mostly known by those in that area. Spea...

Gun Caliber photo
Gun Caliber

Aw, snap: Gun Caliber returns to YouTube as a web series

Sounds like a fun Bothday treat
Oct 03
// Salvador G Rodiles
It looks like the guys at Garage Hero are showing Gun Caliber on their YouTube Channel again; however, this upcoming stream will return in the form of a web series, as Bueno and the gang cut up the movie into various parts. S...
Thunderbolt Fantasy photo
Thunderbolt Fantasy

Look forward to more of Thunderbolt Fantasy's glorious puppet action in the future

Will it take place in a new setting?
Sep 30
// Salvador G Rodiles
With Thunderbolt Fantasy's 13th/final episode appearing before us, the show hit us with an after-credits text that revealed that its sequel is in production. In light of this announcement, the series' Twitter page told folks ...
Shin Godzilla photo
Shin Godzilla

Check out Flixist's review of Shin Godzilla

Dunkin' on Charles Barkley
Sep 30
// Nick Valdez
If you're a regular reader here at Japanator, you've probably seen the trailer for Godzilla Resurgence, or now officially known thanks to Funimation, Shin Godzilla. It's a pretty big deal for tokusatsu fans like myself who've...

Annotated Puppetry: Thunderbolt Fantasy episodes 7-12

Sep 29 // Salvador G Rodiles
It’s these real moments that complete the Butcher’s latest concoction as the main cast’s journey isn’t as straight forward as it seemed to be. The gang’s different backgrounds start to contribute to the show’s conflict and Gui Niao’s true colors start to blossom. While the change in the story didn’t result in any ridiculously shocking tragic moments, the constant air of doubt that entered the atmosphere acts as an alternate form entertainment that still stays true to the guy’s style. The unfortunate outcome from this change was dealing with the fact that we had to part ways with the show’s story about a band of characters that would usually not see each other eye to eye team up to go on a quest to stop a powerful person from releasing a powerful sword from its seal. In a way, it’s almost like Thunderbolt Fantasy was teaching us that all good things must come to an end. There was only so much that we could indulge from Huan tolerating most of the party while they reach Hai’s lair since the cast’s destination was meant to set up for the main turning point in the series. Even though the show started off like it could’ve become a series about a group that became closer during the adventure, the staff was likely aiming for a scenario where things don’t always go as planned. Huan ended up doing more of the work in the journey than Niao intended to and the wandering swordsman’s patience almost jeopardized the entire mission. Just like in real life, there’s always a chance that a well-thought out plan won’t go well. One has to learn to adapt and find a way to move forward while making modifications along the way. Sure, it almost made most of the gang’s roles in the trials a bit useless, but the treat was that it gave the Butcher the ammo that he needed to get the ball rolling. It’s this element that opened up the strings of betrayal that went on during the scenes in Hai’s lair. Characters that seemed like they could be heroes ended up showing a new side to them and Niao’s true identity starts to take things up a notch. All in all, this direction works better in piecing together a finale that’ll exceed many folk’s expectations. Hell, Urobuchi’s usual style of killing off a character before things got real was changed up as it ended up being someone who seemed like they could’ve been around until the main battle against the true final adversary. Of course, the show’s extravagant puppetry continues to be the star, with one of the highlights being the large golem. Compare to most of the fights, it was one of the few moments where we saw the puppeteers use the puppets to fight a large creature. Sure, it may have been a quick segment, but the fact that it seemed like Huan was scaling a stone monstrosity shows that the team's skills in moving the marionettes across the large stone creature were very effective. As a fan of practical effects, it’s still a treat to stare at the detail of the sets and creatures that Pili added to the scene. Since the show is nearing its finale, there’s no stopping this team from blowing everyone away. Speaking of breathtaking action scenes, Pili’s use of effects when they showed off Huan’s true skills resulted in various scenes where my jaw dropped from the way how he can manipulate his qi in battle. In a way, they made him seem like an even more ridiculous version of Twilight Suzuka from Outlaw Star, as we see another badass slaughtering people with a wooden weapon. While his backstory might continue to remain a mystery when the show ends, the idea that we don’t know much about Huan background is what makes him intriguing. Nonetheless, it’s his tendency to go with his instinct that made him a fun lead to follow since he does his best to adjust to situations that he’s been put through against his will— even if they make him upset or to follow someone who he sees as a shady individual. As Thunderbolt Fantasy went from being an adventure story to a tale of betrayal, the show has been quite the ride so far. Considering that the truth behind the Tian Xin Jian’s purpose has been revealed, the series might be setting up for the gang to fight a colossal being, which works well in the staff’s favor to end this show with a bang. No matter what happens, the end result might be a tale that teaches folks about accepting reality and using its harsh truth to grow into a stronger person. Someone is likely going to make one last major sacrifice, but that’ll just mean that the person involved has found his/her resolve. Of course, the high-speed lightning action will only make these moments even better.  [Experience Thunderbolt Fantasy’s changes on Crunchyroll]
Thunderbolt Fantasy photo
A Game of Marionettes
It was only a matter of time until Urobuchi would slice Thunderbolt Fantasy with his special knives. While it took a while for his blade to pierce through the show’s main story, the effect is still worthy of his us...

Cosplay photo

Beat Down Boogie hits us with Dragon Con '16's energetic atmosphere

Let's party like a dragon
Sep 23
// Salvador G Rodiles
Whenever I encounter one of Beat Down Boogie's cosplay videos, I keep getting the urge to get on the floor and break into a dance. In the group's latest adventure, they end up showing us their favorite cosplay from this year'...
Futureman NEXT photo
Futureman NEXT

Protect the timelines with Garage Hero's Futureman NEXT short

It's time for 40 seconds of pure fun
Sep 03
// Salvador G Rodiles
Alright, people! It's about to get futuristic around here, as the gang at Garage Hero unleashes their new short known as Futureman NEXT. As always, the team makes use of their length well since the defender of the flow time l...
Chroma Squad photo
Chroma Squad

Let's Chromatize: Chroma Squad heads to home consoles next year

It's time for some colorful explosions
Sep 02
// Salvador G Rodiles
It may have taken a while, but the gang at Behold Studios are now closer to helping Chroma Squad achieve its new form on the home consoles. Thanks to the help of Bandai Namco, the game will morph its way to the PS4, Xbox...

First Impressions: Thunderbolt Fantasy

Aug 18 // Salvador G Rodiles
If there’s one thing that hinted towards a big change in the story, it’s that the Main Character Shang Bu Huan was placed in an unfortunate situation that made him a part of the group that plans to stop the evil sword collector known as Mie Tian Hai from awakening the Tian Xing Jian, a powerful sacred sword, from its seal. The unfortunate thing about this was that Huan was just a swordsman who just wanted to wander, but he was placed in an unfortunate circumstance where he ended up becoming an enemy of Hai’s evil group, the Xuan Gui Zong. Since Urobuchi loves to make his characters suffer, the idea of the hero having to give up on his routine to fulfill a specific task works well in this favor. Hell, this format tends to lead to some interesting development with the main characters than one where the lead wants to do something good from the get-go, as it shows that an unexpected journey could help someone grow. In Thunderbolt Fantasy’s case, Huan's growth will likely be related to how he handles the ordeals when the group is close to Hai's castle. Even though the majority of the show’s story focused on the main cast formulating their party to stop Hai, the mysterious character known as Gui Niao holds the title of being the possible catalyst in changing the way how people view Pili and Urobuchi’s action-packed puppet show. He was the main reason why Huang is part of the campaign to fight the Xuan Gui Zon, and there are a few characters who have problems with the guy. Depending on how the story goes, I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes the spot as the show’s final villain. That, or we might have different factions and Niao will lead one of them. For now, his connection to the story is a factor that could elevate the series to a higher level and the suspicious vibe that he gives off contributes to the program’s entertaining aspects— especially with his persistent tendency to make sure that he has the prerequisites to overcome the trials that lead to Hai’s lair. While we’re on the topic of characters that could change groups at any time, the addition of a demon and a man who calls himself the Screaming Phoenix Killer contributes to the show’s idea of a group that’s united by a common motive. The idea that the party has their own toxic environment to deal with makes one wonder how things will change when the first major arc comes to a close. These aspects continue to push the audience towards being suspicious of Gui Niao; thus leaving people with the joy of trying to figure out where the story could go. For a team that could turn on each other, their teamwork somehow works out well, as a few of the show’s characters can give it their all when another comrade instigates them into doing something dangerously. Overall, this concept is what makes Thunderbolt Fantasy’s cast great since they’re all in it for a specific motive. Depending on how the direction the story will go later, I’m hoping that this aspect continues to be a recurring element since the team made these segments fun to listen to. Speaking of worthwhile things, the puppetry in Thunderbolt Fantasy gives off a breathtaking feeling. The actions scenes feel like an over-the-top Hong Kong film and the special effects (such as the magical flying weapons and powerful shockwaves) make every action scene a marvelous spectacle that never disappoints its audience. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this is that the show’s puppeteers are doing these segments in real time; thus resulting in a puppet show with one hell of a performance. Aside from the puppet’s impressive movements, the cast’s designs feature some highly detailed clothes and weapons. The craftsmanship in each puppet makes each of them look like a wonderful work of art. Not only that, the fact that the show’s staff uses weather and environmental damage is a solid feat, as the shots and lighting bring life to Thunderbolt Fantasy’s man-made sets. All in all, the team’s combined hard work with the puppetry, special effects and environments work hand-in-hand in creating a stage that grabs the audience's attention. Also, the idea that a majority of the show’s characters are left handed is a nice treat for lefties everywhere. As a person who never got to witness that many action puppet shows (such as The Thunderbirds) before, Thunderbolt Fantasy’s story and action left me blown away with the effort that went into the sets and action scenes. The violent puppets segments and Urobuchi’s writing serve as the true strings that’ll expose the nature of this series, which has started to unravel with Screaming Phoenix Killer’s actions and motives. With Hai entering the battlefield, it’ll be neat to see how everyone bypasses this trial. From the looks of it, this might be the opportunity that’ll allow for Huan to prove to everyone that he isn’t lying about his backstory. No matter what direction the series will take, Thunderbolt Fantasy will remain as a title that I never imagined as a medium that I needed in my life. [Get blown away by Thunderbolt Fantasy’s puppet action on Crunchyroll.]
Thunderbolt Fantasy photo
Lefties rule!
Ever since Urobuchi was involved with Kamen Rider Gaim, my desire to see him tackle other types of mediums outside of his usual things went up since it would be great to see how his writing style would cut up those stories. S...

Power Rangers Ninja Steel photo
Power Rangers Ninja Steel

Power Rangers Ninja Steel shows off its cast

Can you spot the Dino Charge connection?
Aug 13
// Salvador G Rodiles
It's a known fact that the coolest ninjas are the one who don't hide. With Power Morphicon '16 happening as we speak, the actors for the 2017 Power Rangers series, Ninja Steel, have revealed their identity in front of a live ...
Suzaku photo

Get fired up for Garage Hero's new tokusatsu short

Olympic Flames!
Aug 08
// Salvador G Rodiles
As the summer season continues to get hotter, the folks at Garage Hero are turning up the heat with their new hero known as Suzaku. Of course, this fiery warrior happens to be a hot-blooded individual. So far, I'm loving the ...
Kamen Rider Ex-Aid photo
Kamen Rider Ex-Aid

2016's Kamen Rider series gets Lupin the 3rd Part 4's Writer

Press start to transform
Aug 01
// Salvador G Rodiles
If there's one thing that most of my favorite Rider shows have in common is that they're written by folks who were involved with anime, such as Kamen Rider Fourze and Gaim. Speaking of which, it turns out that Yuuya Takahashi...
Gun Caliber photo
Gun Caliber

Catch Gun Caliber this Saturday at Anime Festival Orlando '16

It's time to drink some Kung Fu Whiskey
Jul 29
// Salvador G Rodiles
It looks like the people of Florida are in for a treat, as Garage Hero's Indie Tokusatsu Film Gun Caliber gets a screening at this year's Anime Festival Orlando. To top it off, Bueno (Gun Caliber's Star, Director, and Pr...
Wota Senshi Center photo
Wota Senshi Center

Idol group-themed Indie Tokusatsu Wota Senshi Center gets a teaser

Extremly catchy music included
Jul 24
// Salvador G Rodiles
Back when Wota Senshi Center was first announced, I was down with the idea of an idol group-themed hero that uses Mix CDs to activate his moves. Of course, Garage Hero Alumni Daryl Delosreyes' (Gun Caliber's Sky Bla...
Red Sun photo
Red Sun

Garage Hero's Red Sun is ready to slice up evil

Looks hot so far
Jul 09
// Salvador G Rodiles
At long last, the first episode of Garage Hero's new short known as Red Sun has launched on their channel. Just like their Inzector Alpha series, the title will likely focus on Red Sun showing us how he takes down h...
Red Sun photo
Red Sun

Here's a quick look at Garage Hero's new red samurai hero

Does this make him three times faster?
Jun 30
// Salvador G Rodiles
It looks like the guys at the Indie Tokusatsu Studio Garage Hero have a new short in the work, as they show off their new hero known as Red Sun, which was made by Former Rainbow Zoukei, the team behind the suits for the Kamen...
Choriki Sentai Ohranger photo
Choriki Sentai Ohranger

Ole: Shout! Factory grabs Ohranger

The Machine Empire is going down
May 21
// Salvador G Rodiles
Don't you love it when your prediction comes true? In this case, I had a hunch that Shout! Factory was going to give us a special surprise during their Dairanger stream. Lo and behold, it turns out that their next Sentai ...
Kamen Rider W photo
Kamen Rider W

S.H. Figuarts (Shinkocchou Seihou) Kamen Rider W gets a half-boiled trailer

Now, count up your sins!
May 20
// Salvador G Rodiles
To this day, Kamen Rider W still holds the top spot on my list of favorite Kamen Rider series. Due to my love for the show, I always feel joyful when a new thing that's related to the detective-themed tokusatsu gets announce...
Gosei Sentai Dairanger photo
Gosei Sentai Dairanger

Check out the trailer for Shout! Factory's Dairanger streaming event

Can we expect a special surprise?
May 19
// Salvador G Rodiles
You gotta hand it to companies that decide to people a taste of one of their titles since it exposes more folks to said property. As we get close to the weekend, Shout! Factory has uploaded a trailer for their upcoming Gosei...
Tokusatsu Film School photo
Tokusatsu Film School

Grab your supplies: Tokusatsu Film School has begun

Class has now started
Apr 29
// Salvador G Rodiles
Listen up, people! It's time for us to head to our desks, as Bueno teaches us about the essential elements that go into creating a hero helmet during Tokusatsu Film School's first session. The best part about Bueno's demonstr...
Tokusatsu Film School photo
Tokusatsu Film School

Prepare for Tokusatsu Film School with Garage Hero's Inzector Alpha short

The orientation has started
Apr 22
// Salvador G Rodiles
Whenever a person gets ready to start school, they usually go through a brief orientation to get acquainted with the facility they'll be studying at. This same principle applies Garage Hero/Garage Pro TV's upcoming Tokusatsu...
Tokusatsu Film School photo
Tokusatsu Film School

Here's a quick look at Garage Hero's Tokusatsu Film School series

The class bell is about to ring
Apr 15
// Salvador G Rodiles
As Bueno and the rest of Garage Hero/Garage Pro TV are working hard on Strega, the group launched the first trailer for their tokusatsu tutorial series, Tokusatsu Film School. Since the first episode will focus on teach...
Legend Hero photo
Legend Hero

Three Kingdoms-themed Tokusatsu Legend Hero's official stream now has English subtitles

Romance of the Three Henshins
Apr 14
// Salvador G Rodiles
You gotta hand it to companies who decide to make their works viewable to people from other regions since it lets them expand their audience. One fine example of this feat is that the YouTube page for the Korean and Chinese&n...
Godzilla Resurgence photo
Godzilla Resurgence

Godzilla Resurgence's new trailer will bring fear to your heart

The King of Monsters looks intimidating
Apr 13
// Salvador G Rodiles
I might be a minority on this view, but I wasn't a big fan of Garreth Edward's Godzilla movie. Even though the film did justice to the King of Monsters, the film failed to make me care about the movie's main character, Ford,...
Strega photo

Happy Bothday: Gun Caliber's sequel is now in pre-production

More bullets are heading our way
Apr 07
// Salvador G Rodiles
Ever since I watched the original Gun Caliber film, its sequel became one of the tokusatsu projects that I'm looking forward to the most. Part of it had to do with the way how the Main Hero Soma's development from a washed-up...
Bakuryu Sentai Abaranger photo
Bakuryu Sentai Abaranger

Bakuryu Change: Abaranger's 8-bit opening is out on a rampage

Apr 03
// Salvador G Rodiles
I'm not sure if this is a coincidence or not, but I find it too convenient that Studio Megaane's latest chiptune song happens to be his take on Bakuryu Sentai Abaranger, which happens to be a hot-blooded ridiculously over-th...
Dobutsu Sentai Zyuohger photo
Dobutsu Sentai Zyuohger

Awaken your instincts with Zyuohger's 8-bit opening

Retro Kingu!!!
Apr 02
// Salvador G Rodiles
It's time for us to unleash our loudest Tarzan yell as Studio Megaane uses his Retro Cube to turn the opening of the animal and cube-themed Super Sentai series, Dobutsu Sentai Zyuohger, into a chiptune that'll make anyo...

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